Farms that Float!

Not sure how we missed this story right when it came out…

Over at the ProVerticalFarm Twitter, we keep everyone up to date on the latest news on vertical farming.  It’s a good system: Google Alerts and Feedly keep us up-to-date and we share the best with you.

Despite that, one article slipped through the cracks, which is too bad, because it’s one of the most original concepts we’ve come across: Floating Responsive Agriculture (FRA).

Forward Thinking Architectures floating responsive agricultural tower

Forward Thinking Architecture’s floating responsive agricultural tower

Back in Singapore

We thought it would be at least a few more articles before we had to revisit Singapore.  But it seems the same conditions we talked about last time that make it important for vertical farming have inspired a whole new approach to the industry.

One reason FRA is unique because it developed out of indigenous technologies.  Though we’d be a bit weary to make any real assumptions out of this before exploring these cultures more thoroughly, think about FRA as farmscrapers on docks for now.

“Inspired by Singapore’s Floating Fish Farms of Jurong’s Fishery Port, we aim to create a territorial network of Vertical infrastructures located close to the city areas which can produce local, quality-controlled food,” says Forward Thinking Architecture, the firm behind the design.

Inside one of Singapore's traditional floating farms

Inside one of Singapore’s traditional floating farms

Instead of having to compete for high-priced land, Forward Thinking’s solution is simple: just build in the waters surrounding the island.  The shipping is still local, and by relying on real-time analytics (hence the “responsive), they can tune their production to only what is needed, reducing waste.

Something else to note about this design is the peculiar shape of the towers.  According to the architects, the “loop” minimizes shading ensuring more plants have access to natural sunlight.  We’d be curious to see how this affects structural stability and if this design would be too fragile for something floating in potentially choppy waters.  

The proposal has won awards in India and Spain, while the firm has already been recognized in Singapore with the FuturArc prize in 2013. You can check out their full video below.

1 thought on “Farms that Float!

  1. Pingback: Vertical Farms and Changing Climates | The Urban Vertical Project

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